Shabana Azmi Birthday Special: 5 National award-winning performances by the actress you need to watch now

Shabana Azmi, the veteran actress is celebrating her 73rd birthday today. On this special occasion, let's have a look at the 5 National award-winning performances of the legend.

Updated on Sep 19, 2023   |  04:04 AM IST  |  105.9K
Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi (Credits: IMDb / Dharma Productions)

Key Highlight

  • Shabana Azmi was born on September 18, 1950
  • The veteran actress made her acting debut with Ankur, the 1974-released Shyam Benegal movie
  • She was recently seen in blockbuster film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani and Ghoomer

Shabana Azmi is unarguably one of the finest talents Indian cinema has ever produced. The legendary actress, who was seen recently in the blockbuster movie Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, made her acting debut in 1974 with the Shyam Benegal directorial Ankur and later established herself as one of the pioneers of arthouse cinema in the country. Unlike most of her contemporaries who preferred to be the quintessential Bollywood heroines, Shabana Azmi always picked performance-oriented roles that challenged her as an artist.

As you may know, Shabana Azmi still remains the most-awarded actress in the history of the prestigious National Film Awards Best Actress category. The veteran actress bagged the honor 5 times, in the years 1975, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1999, respectively. She also holds the record of being the only actress who won the Best Actress trophy at the National Film Awards three times consecutively. 

As Shabana Azmi turns 73 today, here we present the legendary actress's five National award-winning performances you need to watch now. Have a look...

1. Ankur (1975)

Shabana Azmi won her first ever National Film Award for Best Actress, for her performance in her debut film, Ankur. Yes, you read it right. The actress, who is an FTII alumnus, played the role of Lakshmi, a Dalit woman who is married to a hearing and speech-impaired alcoholic, and later has an extramarital affair with a man from upper caste. Azmi's performance in the film highly impressed both the audiences and critics, and is still considered one of her finest works. 

Shabana Azmi in Ankur (Credits: IMDb)

2. Arth (1983)

This iconic film, which is helmed by Mahesh Bhatt, boasted a stellar star cast including Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, and Khulbhushan Kharbanda, in the lead roles. Azmi played the role of Pooja Malhotra, an orphan woman who was cheated on by her husband. The veteran actress' nuanced performance as a woman who finds new meaning in her life won her the National Film Award for Best Actress, in the year 1983.

3. Khandhar (1984)

Shabana Azmi won her third Best Actress trophy at the National Film Awards, for her stunning portrayal of the character Jamini, in the 1984-released film Khandhar. The Mrinal Sen directorial featured the legend as a woman who leads a lonely life in a rural area. The movie was even screened at the Un Certain Regard category, at the Cannes Film Festival of 1984.

4. Paar (1985)

The 1985 movie, which is helmed by Goutam Ghose, won Shabana Azmi her fourth National Film Award trophy for Best Actress. She plays the role of Rama, the pregnant wife of a brave laborer named Naurangia (played by Naseeruddin Shah), who fights against a landlord's exploitation and becomes a fugitive. Her performance in Paar is still considered a benchmark. 


5. Godmother (1999)

The veteran actress, who is best known for impeccable versatility, stunned the audiences with her performance as a Mafia queen in Godmother, the 1999-released film which is directed by Vinay Shukla. Shabana Azmi's portrayal of the real-life character Santoben Jadeja, who ran mafia operations at Porbandar Gujarat, won her the 5th National Film Award of her career, for Best Actress. 

ALSO READ: Zarina Wahab reacts to Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi's kiss scene in RRKPK; says, 'It was cute and adorable'

About The Author
Akhila Menon
Akhila Menon

Hopelessly in love with Indian cinema, Akhila Menon grew up watching Malayalam and Tamil films, and those are

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